Fall of 1996:
The Southern Ontario Growth Committee, with the help of the CUC, decided to implement a new congregational start. They used current demographics and voted to support a new congregation in the East End of Toronto. Then a steering committee was formed and preparations begun for the development of this new congregation.
May 20th 1997:
Our first public meeting, attended by 35 people, was held in the Beach. Scott Alexander, author of Salted with Fire, spoke on “Spirituality in Everyday Life.”
Eight people signed up and attended “Spiritual Journeys,” led by Rev. Gretchen Thomas. It met on alternate Mondays and began June 2nd. Participants shared their own religious path and explored questions of faith and meaning. Some questions they pondered: How do I live a meaningful life? What do I trust within this society? How do I understand God? How can I live with death? What brings me hope? How do I understand good and evil?
Six people attended the four week session led by Wayne Walder on “Getting Comfortable with Unitarian Universalism.” They reviewed Unitarian Universalist history and took a look at the origin of religious scriptures and how they deeply affected that history. They explored the roots of controversial and diverse philosophical and political thought in liberal religion.
“New Congregation Proposal” sent to national and international bodies. A name to use was chosen: Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation
October and December 1997: Public sessions and more adult workshops took place.
January, February, and March 1998:
Many dinners were held, attended by many potential members. Thirty people signed up to be founding members. A public session on Religious Education for Children was held in February. Wayne Walder was ordained on March 22, 1998. In February and March two adult programs were run: The UU Story, and Beginning course in Meditation.
April through September 1998:
At the MCC Church we held 6 Sunday Services and Religious Education Programs for children, and held Potluck meals.
October 18th 1998:
We began holding services at the Beaches Art Centre on Queen St. East.
October, November, December, 1998:
We held one Sunday Service in October and two each in November and December. Our services had an average attendance of 50 people with 14 children in the RE program.
November 1 1998:
We held our first Congregational Meeting to vote on our application for the New Congregation Ministry Program run by the UUA.
We have a ‘Organizing Minister,’ Music Director, ‘Phone Tree’ Chair and Callers, Greeter Coordinator and Greeters, Coffee Committee, Membership Chair, Newsletter/Webpage/Publicity Chair, Treasurer and Finance Chair, Grant Application Chair, RE Leader, Sunday Service Committee, Beautification of Space Committee.
Our covenanting congregation, First Unitarian Congregation, has given us tons of support, both time and money and we thank them very much!
On April 12 1999:
NUUC found out that we are in the New Ministry Grant Program and Rev. Wayne Walder will be our first minister. We are looking forward to being an official congregation at our Charter Sunday in January 2000.
We received a grant for the UUA for New Ministry. They will give us funds over the next five years. Wayne is officially appointed as our minister. First Unitarian Congregation voted to give us matching funds!
We have our by-laws!
January 30 2000:
We are chartered as a new congregation of the Canadian Unitarian Council and the Unitarian Universalist Association.
May 26 2002:
We voted to proceed with the purchase from the Anglican Diocese of St. Monica’s Anglican Church.
June 27 2002:
We closed the purchase of the building formerly known as St. Monica’s Anglican Church. We began renovating the building over the summer of 2002.
October 13 2002:
Our first service was held in our new building.
Neighbourhood UU Congregation completed the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) “Welcoming Congregation” program and passed a congregational vote to affirm that they welcome the membership and active participation of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and/or transgender people.